Gulls and Humans: LANDFILL, pp. 17 – 18

This is a gorgeous book. Stunning. A learning to see.

Self heard about it at last year’s Cambridge Literary Festival (which featured a number of panels on the environment)

pp. 17 – 18:

In my lifetime gulls have come toward us. Most other birds have gone in the opposite direction, but the gulls have bucked the trend. In part we made them do so; in part the birds elected to fly that way. And they continue to tell something of how the once-wild can share our present world. Calling them seagulls is wrong — that was one of the first things I learned as a novice bird-boy. They are as much inland among us as they are far out over the waves. Yet, in fact, this state of life for them is far from new. Over the past hundred years, human modernity has brought gulls ashore.

DSCN0251

This gull took off from the balcony of self’s room in Fowey Hall.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

 

“the man she likes”: Northanger Abbey, p. 231

Self flopped into bed at 2 and did not wake up until almost six. Sooo tired! Nevertheless, at some point, she WILL go downstairs, she WILL take the tram, she WILL inquire of passersby regarding restaurants serving “traditional” Czech food. Either that or she will go to the grocery store next door which sells the most amazing, huge, sweet cherries she has ever tasted in her whole life and buy more cherries!

Now to Northanger Abbey: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney and Henry Tilney are in the drawing room, discussing Isabella Thorpe.

“But perhaps,” observed Catherine, “though she has behaved so ill by our family, she may behave better by yours. Now she has finally got the man she likes, she may be constant.”

How candid Catherine Morland is! How artless. Henry Tilney listens without once giving away his true opinion of Ms. Thorpe. For the nth time, self really loves Henry Tilney, because his manners are so exquisite.

Stay tuned.

Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland

Self’s new literary crush is Northanger Abbey‘s Henry Tilney. In his exceedingly dry wit, he is the perfect foil for our heroine, she with the unquenchable thirst for the Gothic, Catherine Morland.

p. 177:

Nothing further to alarm perhaps may occur the first night. After surmounting your unconquerable horror of the bed, you will retire to rest, and get a few hours’ unquiet slumber. But on the second, or at farthest the third night after your arrival, you will probably have a violent storm. Peals of thunder so loud as to seem to shake the edifice to its foundation will roll round the neighbouring mountains — and during the frightful gusts of wind which accompany it, you will probably think you discern (for your lamp is not extinguished) one part of the hanging more violently agitated than the rest. Unable of course to repress your curiosity in so favorable a moment for indulging it, you will instantly arise, and throwing your dressing-gown around you, proceed to examine this mystery.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Oh, Catherine!

While riding with Henry Tilney in his curricle, Catherine shares her thoughts on their destination: the family seat, Northanger Abbey.

Catherine: Is not it a fine old place, just like what one reads about?

Henry: And are you prepared to encounter all the horrors of a building such as “what one reads about” may produce? Have you a stout heart? Nerves fit for sliding panels and tapestry?

Catherine: Oh! Yes — I do not think I should be easily frightened, because there would be so many people in the house — and besides, it has never been uninhabited and left deserted for years, and then the family come back to it unawares, without giving any notice, as usually happens.

lol

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Moving Towards a Climax: Northanger Abbey, p. 172

The Tilney family, Catherine Morland in tow, is on its way to Northanger Abbey from Bath, “a journey of thirty miles” with four horses going at a “sober pace.”

For Catherine, the “bustle of going was not pleasant . . . The clock struck ten while the trunks were carrying down . . .”

The means of conveyance is a chaise-and-four, “a heavy and troublesome business.”

(How self adores all these details about traveling, back in the day!)

At the halfway point of the journey, General Tilney urges Catherine to move to Henry Tilney’s curricle, which follows behind. Catherine is at first shocked at the impropriety but is happy to acquiesce because “to be driven by” Henry, “next to being dancing with him, was certainly the greatest happiness in the world.”

Stay tuned.

 

John Thorpe and Catherine Morland, pp. 137 – 138

There are books self picks up while traveling that she calmly gives away at the end of her trip. But self will keep her paperback copies of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey forever (Even though Persuasion fell short of her expectations, it is still so Jane!).

John Thorpe is such a lazy suitor. And for a girl who’s the youngest of this group, who’s never had a suitor before, Catherine Morland isn’t doing too badly:

John: But I say, Miss Morland, I shall come and pay my respects at Fullerton before it is long, if not disagreeable.

Catherine: Pray do. My mother and father will be very glad to see you.

John: And I hope — I hope, Miss Morland, you will not be sorry to see me.

Catherine: Oh dear, not at all. There are very few people I am sorry to see. Company is always cheerful.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dear, Sweet Catherine!

A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

Northanger Abbey, p. 122

Self loves this book. Loves, loves, loves it.

She hardly remembers anything from the first time she read it, it’s a good thing she decided to read it again. Catherine’s innocence, her enthusiasm for the “horrible” — who would have expected such an entertaining tale to be spun from this?

Catherine confides in her new BFF Eleanor Tilney that she is very much looking forward to the arrival of “something very shocking indeed” (p. 123) and that “it is more horrible than anything we have met with yet . . . it is to be uncommonly dreadful. I shall expect murder and everything of the kind.” (p. 124)

Eleanor assumes that Catherine is talking about a “riot.”

Eleanor: Have the goodness to satisfy me as to this dreadful riot.

Catherine: Riot — What riot?

Henry hastens to explain: “Miss Morland has been talking of nothing more dreadful than a new publication which is shortly to come out . . .”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

John Thorpe, Villain: NORTHANGER ABBEY, pp. 48 – 49

Self might as well tell you who the villain is; you will enjoy this novel so much more as you read: That is, you will be so much more aware of the dangers posed by hypocrisy, and insincere flattery, carelessness and a sense of entitlement. Self advises all blog readers to take notes, in case any of your acquaintance or any members of your immediate family exhibit similar behavior (Every family has its own villains, don’t deny it):

“Ah, mother! How do you do?” said he, giving her a hearty shake of the hand: “where did you get that quiz of a hat, it makes you look like an old witch. Here is Morland and I come to stay a few days with you, so you must look out for a couple of good beds some where near.”

This address seemed to satisfy all the fondest wishes of the mother’s heart, for she received him with the most delighting and exulting affection. On his two younger sisters he then bestowed an equal portion of his fraternal tenderness, for he asked each of them how they did, and observed that they both looked very ugly.

You can always tell who the shallowest men are in a Jane Austen novel because they pass the silliest judgments on women’s appearance.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Jane Austen Feels It Necessary To

Defend the novel.

Northanger Abbey, p. 34:

Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers.

Catherine Morland: Northanger Abbey, p. 26

With more than usual eagerness did Catherine hasten to the Pump-room the next day, secure within herself of seeing Mr. Tilney there before the morning were over, and ready to meet him with a smile: — but no smile was demanded — Mr. Tilney did not appear.

DSCN1905

Jane Austen Centre, Bath, May 2017

Too. Funny.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

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